If you need or want to share your research data, you are likely to deposit it on a system such as CORD; when you do so, you fill out a form with extra information about that dataset. This is what’s known as metadata – structured descriptive information about the dataset. Why is it important? Because it helps your dataset stand out, makes your data more discoverable and thus reusable (for better citations/usage stats), and of course supports your compliance with what funders require.
figshare (the company behind the CORD repository) have produced a handy pdf guide on how to make the most of your metadata. It’s well worth a quick read, as it covers tips such as:
- Using a descriptive but attention-grabbing title for best effectiveness;
- Using keywords to aid discoverability by getting a bit more detailed on the subject of the research;
- Adding links to external sources that will aid reuse of your dataset.